Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Stalin Comes in Third

Russians, voting in a contest organized by state broadcaster Rossiya, chose Josef Stalin as the third greatest Russian of all time.  The results were announced yesterday.  Alexander Nevsky, a 13th century hero who defeated the Swedes, came in first, and Pyotr Stolypin, a prime minister during the rule of Nicholas II, took second.  Stalin nearly came in first-falling only 5,200 votes short out of 4.5 million ballots cast-and actually led at one point.   Russians voted on the internet and through text messaging.

Although results in these types of polls are typically unrepresentative of the population as a whole, the clear message for President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is that a large segment of the Russian populace values strong leaders.  That’s understandable for a nation that collapsed into pieces last decade after losing a multi-decade struggle to the West and its allies.

Nonetheless, the clear message for us is that we should start seeing Russia as it sees itself.  The Russians obviously hold values we find abhorrent.  That should, at a minimum, make us rethink the nature of our cooperation with them and their government.

We should remember we tried working with Stalin once.  Maybe Putin is no communist dictator, but he is reasserting hardline rule when he is not trying to destabilize the international community.  It’s time to take a fresh look at him and his Russia.



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.